Unicorns may not exist in the forest, but they do in the startup world. In April 2020 Dallas-based o9 Solutions hit unicorn status—$1 billion in valuation—after a $100 million investment from private equity firm KKR put it into the three-comma realm.
Last week the enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) software platform provider announced an over 400% increase in annual recurring revenue year-over-year growth in Q4 2021—and 3x growth on a full-year basis. Its other year-end highlights include expanding to 1,677 employees worldwide, doubling its workforce compared to 2020.
CEO sees more growth in 2022
Chakri Gottemukkala, co-founder and CEO of o9, told Dallas Innovates he expects the company’s growth to continue in 2022. He plans to have “approximately 2,500 employees worldwide by end of year.”
Gottemukkala says o9’s 2021 performance demonstrates the broad-based applicability of his company’s platform across diverse industries, regions, and types of customers.
Expanding o9’s solutions and global footprint
“The demand for our solutions is still very strong,” he told us. As a result, o9 plans to “expand our solution footprint from helping companies make better supply chain decisions to adjacent areas, such as procurement and revenue management.”
o9 will continue its global expansion as well, especially in the APAC and Latin America regions.
“Sustainability is also going to be a significant focus, both for our solutions and for o9 as a company,” Gottemukkala said.
o9’s Digital Brain AI platform
The CEO believes o9’s momentum heading into 2022 is “a clear validation of the massive value-generation potential” of a digital platform like the o9 Digital Brain for global companies that have embarked on a digital transformation journey.
o9’s Digital Brain AI platform addresses enterprise business planning and decision-making through graph-based enterprise modeling, big data analytics, advanced algorithms for scenario planning, collaborative portals, easy-to-use interfaces, and cloud-based delivery.
Redefining the global supply chain and integrated business planning market
At the time of its $100 million investment, Jake Heller of KKR’s technology growth team told the Dallas Morning News that o9 can “redefine” the global supply chain and integrated business planning market.
“We’ve looked carefully at supply chain space over several years now, and it was in that work that we started to identify o9 fairly early on as a differentiated and emerging platform,” Heller told the DMN.
Filling the trophy room
The company has garnered a lot awards and attention lately. Just last week, Gottemukkala was named “enterprise innovator of the year” at the D CEO and Dallas Innovates third-annual Innovation Awards.
In November 2021, o9 was named No. 12 in the annual SMU Cox Dallas 100 ranking of North Texas’ fastest-growing entrepreneurial companies, and also made the Deloitte 2021 Technology Fast 500. In June 2021, Gottemukkala was named a finalist in EY’s Entrepreneuer of the Year 2021 Southwest Award.
Expanding the marketplace
Along with the accolades, o9 expanded its customer base in Q4 including the worldwide semiconductor memory leader, the top North American telecommunication provider, a multinational edge-to-cloud provider, a leading digital health tech company, and a high-growth producer of sustainable foods, o9’s first Middle East and Southeast Asia customers joined such existing notable clients as Google, Nike, Starbucks and Walmart.
“Despite a year marked by significant market uncertainty and an increasingly competitive business landscape, we achieved a record number of new customer wins as well as expansions with existing customers in 2021,” said Igor Rikalo, president and COO of o9, in a statement. “Our performance this quarter and throughout 2021 resulted largely from growth investments made heading into the year.”
o9 Solutions was founded in 2009 after co-founder Sanjiv Sidhu’s i2 Technologies was acquired. Sidhu and Gottemukkala began the company as a consultancy and launched their tech platform in 2014. Sidhu continues to help lead o9 as the company’s chairman.
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